Designing a business support programme for high-growth start-ups

Supporting regional economic development


How can we increase the number of high-growth potential businesses in North East England?

How can we increase the number of high-growth potential businesses in North East England?

The North East Local Economic Partnership (NELEP) commissioned Urban Foresight to help increase the number of high-growth potential start-ups in North East England.

Urban Foresight’s approach built on academic and applied understanding of entrepreneurship, innovation and business support.

It also drew on Urban Foresight’s practical experience of delivering innovation support programmes in North East England and wider expertise in economic regeneration.

A three-phase research programme of desk research, online surveys and face-to-face interviews collected insights from entrepreneurs who had successfully started high-growth businesses.

This provided valuable insights on the motivations, characteristics and success factors cited by founders.

An important finding was the key role of business partners in providing additional skills, contacts and motivational support to unlock the growth potential of start-ups.

A further challenge was the need to overcome cultural and financial barriers faced in deciding whether to start a new business.

These findings were translated into a series of recommendations for the Local Enterprise Partnership to design a bespoke programme of support for entrepreneurs.

In 2019, NELEP launched the High Potential Start-ups programme, which put into action the recommendations made by Urban Foresight.

Sector Expertise

Bottom-up understanding of the needs and motivations of citizens, as well as engaging with communities to inspire positive actions and behaviours 

How new technologies and business models are transforming the way people and goods are transported to create better connected, healthier and more sustainable cities 

Maximising the opportunities for employment and wealth creation and helping to establish the necessary governance, policy and capital funding to make this possible 

What We Delivered

Defining commercial opportunities and the underlying economic impacts of a project 

Professional engagement with relevant stakeholders and experts to uncover key insights and identify shared priorities 

Defining key stakeholders, determining their priorities and defining their relationship to a client or project 

We reimagine services in order to create new economic value and meet customer needs in new ways.